• An iniative of QLD charity Kanyini Connections Ltd
Young Veterans’ Program

Young Veterans’ Program

A restorative equine-assisted personal development program for young veterans – particularly those with PTSD, anxiety or depression.

All sessions are private sessions – and your program will be fully tailored for you and your specific needs. We will work at your pace and your comfort levels.

You will work alongside our beautiful rescue horses and Program Facilitator, Olivia Gerritse – a young veteran herself and a certified Equine Psychotherapy Institute (EPI) Practitioner.

Programs typically run for 12 weeks and are scheduled for a time and on a day that suits both you and Olivia.

Cost: $80 per session (each session is approximately 1 hour). Full and Part Scholarships are available for applicants experiencing financial hardship. 

Applications are currently OPEN

Application Process

  • Step 1- Click here to complete an Application Form. Once we receive your form, we will be in touch to arrange a time for you to visit the sanctuary and meet Oliva and the herd to see if you feel comfortable and would like to proceed with a program trial session
  • Step 2 – We arrange a trial session for you, and, if you enjoy the trial session, you can book a full program.

A Message From Olivia

As a Veteran feeling consumed by service-related PTSD, anxiety and depression, I took the leap and started Volunteering at Hoofbeats Sanctuary early 2020 simply because of always feeling drawn to horses.

I spent hours hanging around in the paddock with the herd after my morning shift – which made me feel productive. Little did I know being in their presence was changing me. We shared nothing but the occasional sniff of a hand or a look with an ear or two but in all that they provided me with a nurturing, supportive space which honoured everything I was and everything I was going through.

After a few months I realised we shared more than that; we shared the feeling of the wind going through our hair, we shared how the “what ifs” made our hearts race until someone would tell us it’s okay, the feeling of being triggered by a loud sound and then the air which reminded us to breathe.

Our herd healed me; they are the reason I went on to becoming a qualified Equine-Assisted Learning Practitioner. I’ve learnt how they can have this effect on us as people and I’m here to share their power with anyone who needs it.